If last week's episode of Resurrection was all about exploring the characters, last night's installment was a bullet train to Plot Town. Elaine had it out with Caleb, who insists that more Returned are coming. We finally learned what's haunting Marty, but didn't really care. And the most recently returned Rachel had a bomb drop on her.
A lot went on last night, but it actually seemed more integrated than usual. We've got Rachel's plot, which was really a detour to set up something big for the future. And then there was the fallout from arresting Caleb last week, and that enclosed pretty much everything else. So we only need to break it down into those two parts.
Spoilers. . .
Pastor Bad Decisions
In the wake of the last two episodes, I have decided to stop calling Pastor Tom by his name. He's Pastor Bad Decisions now. Because he followed up making out with his no-longer-dead fiancée with super-lying to his wife. Mrs. Bad Decisions starts by apologizing for being that woman, all "controlling and manipulative." And, yeah, her demanding that he run Rachel out of town was pretty bad. But Pastor Bad Decisions comes by his new name honestly, because he says that Rachel won't come between them.
That's such a huge, blatant lie that I'm still laughing. He follows that whopper up by claiming that Rachel went to go visit some family in Tennessee. Mrs. Bad Decisions twists the knife by saying that she's glad that Rachel won't be alone.
Which is technically true, as Pastor Bad Decisions heads out to where he's stashed Rachel in a hotel. When Rachel says she hasn't been sleeping and isn't feeling great, he offers to take her to Maggie, because she's been treating all the returned.
Maggie finds nothing more or less wrong with Rachel than she has with Caleb or Jacob. Except one little thing: Rachel's pregnant. And the timing means she was pregnant when she drove her car into the river. Rachel freaks out and makes Maggie promise she won't tell anyone, especially Tom.
I am now accepting over/unders on whether the kid is even Pastor Bad Decision's. But things are clearly heading up Shit Creek for him, regardless.
Jacob, Caleb, and Marty
So we learned what Marty's tragic past was last night: While on a case, he made friends with a young boy. He said they'd stay in touch, and then took the boy back to what was clearly a less-than-ideal home life. Needless to say, the boy died and Marty still feels guilty. And, emotionally manipulative as it is to give Marty a dead-kid story that isn't even about a family member, it does inform a lot of what he does this episode.
Marty and Sheriff Fred are both aware that things'll get really bad once the FBI rolls into town searching for the money Caleb stole. Because their suspect is a dead guy. And if they look into Caleb, that'll lead to Jacob. And Marty's envisioning Jacob getting the full E.T. treatment when that happens. (Sidenote: Why isn't anyone back at Immigration wondering what happened to Marty or Jacob? It's been a while since Marty wheedled time out of his boss.)
So they want to get a confession and the money back, which'll leave nothing for the FBI to investigate. Caleb is, shockingly, not that cooperative. Even with Sheriff Fred playing bad cop/"dead men don't get lawyers" cop. Caleb'll only speak to Elaine.
And 100 points to Samaire Armstrong as Elaine in this episode. She's very much the emotional center, and it's heartbreaking to watch. She's understandably angry at everyone. She's pissed at the deputies tearing up her house for evidence. When Maggie drops by to ask how she is, she just glowers and plays the world's worst voicemail. Seriously, it's a work of art. It's the chipper voice of her boss, telling her that, given the circumstances with her dad, she "shouldn't come in to work tomorrow. Or ever." So. Harsh.
And she simmers with anger and betrayal when she goes to see Caleb. He says that she's the only thing that matters, and Elaine calls that for the bullshit that it is. He used her and she lost everything. All he had to do was be there for them, and he couldn't do that. Caleb steps on a massive landmine by saying that she's done so well, and it's because she's his daughter. Elaine says that she can take care of herself because Caleb used to just leave her and Ray alone, and was that a "parenting style."
It's so satisfying. Elaine has spent the early episodes trying to believe nothing but the best of her returned father, and he, as she accurately puts it, "proved [her] wrong. Again." She's been doubly-betrayed: she now knows what he did before and that he was willing to use her again.
Everything Caleb says proves to Elaine that he was never going to change or be better. He says that all he wanted to do "as soon as he came back" was help. But now Elaine's realized that he lied the whole time about knowing what happened to him. There was never a single moment of sincerity from Caleb, and she's done.
Caleb tries to get back in her good graces by telling her about her birthday parties in the park. Fred and Marty, who are listening in, go to see if he hid the money there. Elaine, meanwhile, wallows in photos from those birthdays, and discovers that the money's hidden in the porch that her father "fixed" for her when he returned. So, yeah, add that to the list of good deeds that Caleb did for Elaine that turned out to be just for his own good.
She takes an axe to the porch, finds the money, and turns it over to Marty. Exeunt Elaine, proving just how good she is without her father.
Marty takes the money to taunt Caleb with, but he's coughing up a storm. He says he'll tell Marty "about the boy," and he doesn't mean Jacob. He means the boy who died in Marty's tragic past, and taunts Marty with the questions "Is he all right, is he at peace?" He doesn't get a chance to answer, because Caleb up and disappears.
Marty worries that Jacob will also vanish, as he dreamed that Caleb would go and that he would follow, but he's still ensconced with the Langstons. However, Jacob does seem to just "know" that Caleb's vanished.
There were two great emotional beats last night: Elaine's angry confrontation with her father and Henry's trip down memory lane. Henry's finally decided that he needs to let the old Jacob go and embrace the new one, so he goes down to the basement and flips through Jacob's baby book. Which, excuse me, I have to go get something out of my eye. Kurtwood Smith continues to be quietly devastating.
But outside those two bits, last night was about what happens next. What happens now that Caleb's vanished? Do the Returned have an expiration date? Or, as I thought for a second, are they sustained by the people who love them, so losing Elaine made Caleb lose his grip on reality? (This veers dangerously close to "Clap your hands if you believe in fairies" territory.) And Caleb promised that there would be so many more Returned, so it's possible no one's getting out of this life without confronting a loved one from the afterlife.
Plus, oh my god, there's an undead fetus now. I am slightly worried that they're going to punt on that the same way they did Caleb's trial. And whether a dead man had any rights. I'm a little sad we didn't really get to see them really deal with this. I wanted to see the trial of a dead man. So, fingers-crossed that Rachel's baby doesn't disappear the same way.